China hopes Imran Khan's visit deepens ties
Beijing : China on Monday hoped that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the country later this week will deepen bilateral ties.
Beijing also said that China-Pakistan relations will not be affected by changes in the international and domestic situation.
Khan will be on a four-day China visit from November 2, his second foreign trip after Saudi Arabia since coming to power in July.
Khan was critical of his predecessor Nawaz Sharif for alleged corruption in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the heart of Beijing's Belt and Road connectivity project.
Officials in Khan's government reportedly said that deals under the CPEC were "unfair" and Islamabad was having a rethink on the project. However, Khan pledged open support for the $60 billion project.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Khan will meet President Xi and Prime Minister Li Keqiang. The Pakistani leader is likely to ask for fresh Chinese loans in the light of Pakistan's ever increasing foreign debt.
"During Imran Khan's visit, Xi will hold talks with him. Premier Li will also hold talks with him. The two sides will have in-depth exchange view on the bilateral relation and issues of common interests," Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
"We hope the two sides can take this visit as an opportunity to deepen our cooperation across the board and move forward in all strategic partnership," he added.
"Our bilateral relations will not be affected by the changes in the international and domestic situation. In recent years, we have enjoyed very frequent high-level exchanges and our pragmatic cooperation has deepened. The CPEC has achieved fruitful outcomes and our friendship has become deeper and deeper."